This season, the USBC will no longer offer Special Achievement awards for leagues. These achievements have traditionally been for game and series scores, pins over average scores, league champions, league high average bowler, and league most improved bowler. There have been a number of iterations over the years, including patches, pins, magnets, and key chains. There have also been various changes to the requirements for earning these awards.
Honor score awards have also changed. The MBA requests award forms to be submitted for all 300 game and 800 series, though physical awards will only be given for first time achievements. Additionally, the 11-in-a-row award has been done away with altogether. Bowlers will, however, be able to purchase some awards.
The USBC has shifted the responsibility of bowler recognition to the local association. This summer, legislation was introduced to remove the $10.00 limit that local associations could charge for dues. This legislation was proposed and passed primarily so locals could charge additional dues to fund an awards program. The Madison USBC Bowling Association has developed a local recognition program but will not require additional dues.
There are bowlers who tie their membership fee almost exclusively to awards. Others care little, if at all, about awards they consider mundane or repetitive. No matter where you are in the spectrum, the Madison Bowling Association is your service organization and seeks to provide you with the services you want and need.
The MBA Challenge Coin Recognition Program
This year, the MBA will offer Challenge Coins as awards for achievements in a number of categories. A variety of challenge coins can be seen here. The coins are heavy, good quality, and suitable for display. Here are some display samples.
Under the old recognition system, achievement awards could be distributed on a given league night, with honor scores often announced. Meanwhile, scores of achievement award envelopes (some with five or six awards each) may be distributed to the bowlers on the lanes. In one of those envelopes may be a bowlers first 200 game award, or first 500 series award. These are the achievements we would like to extract from the previous mass of awards and recognize more fittingly.
By gathering feedback from numerous bowlers and league officers and reviewing years of achievement award data, we have learned that:
- Most people think that recognition for bowling achievements is still important.
- A recognition program aimed primarily at new bowlers would have the most impact. Many ‘veteran’ bowlers indicated they like to see newer bowlers being recognized, over themselves.
- Awards that are too easy to get or are distributed too often tend to dilute the meaning and even the credibility of the award.
Our goal is to recognize significant accomplishments by our members, provide a memento for that achievement.
On the outset, the slate of achievements are difficult to get. Even so, we expect to distribute over 1,500 this season (compared to over 10 times that potentially earned any one past season). Still, the program is flexible. We can adjust requirements over the years, add new challenges, or otherwise tweak the program to keep it fresh and interesting.